COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Boundary School District reports growing number of COVID-19 infections over weekend

Emails by Acting Superintendent suggest the positive cases stem from exposures at Grand Forks high school

The Boundary School District (SD51) reported a growing number of COVID-19 infections over the weekend, leaving an unknown number of students, parents and staff in self-isolation.

The Interior Health Authority (IH) identified at least seven new positive cases district-wide as of Sunday evening, June 6, according to SD 51’s Acting Superintendent Anna Lautard. The cases do not amount to an outbreak of the virus, an IH spokesperson told The Gazette Monday, June 7.

IH declined to specify how many cases had been reported across the school district, explaining that those numbers were confidential. The Health Authority has meanwhile reported “potential exposures” at Grand Forks’ John A. Hutton Elementary on June 2 and one at Christina Lake Elementary between June 1 and 4, according to its website.

READ MORE: COVID-19 infection confirmed in Boundary School District

READ MORE: School board reports possible COVID exposure at Grand Forks high school

Emailing parents of Grand Forks Secondary School (GFSS) students Friday evening June, 4, Lautard said an unspecified number within the high school’s “community” had tested positive for the virus. Contract-tracing by IH officials had established a “school exposure” on May 25 and every day between May 27 and June 3, her email stated.

Lautard then reported four positive cases across SD51 in follow-up emails Saturday, June 5. She reported three more cases in emails Sunday. IH had identified that cases in connection with a second school exposure over two days starting May 24.

SD51 worked closely with IH, she told parents, explaining that the health authority has contacted everyone who may have been exposed to those recently infected within the SD51 community.

Only IH can handle contract-tracing investigations, she reminded parents. Each of the five people who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 “are now self-isolating at home,” she told parents.

The school board is working with IH’s Rapid Response team to review its existing protocols, Lautard told The Gazette Monday, June 7.

For more information about the 11 symptoms of COVID-19, please consult the BC Centre for Disease Control’s most recent information bulletin.



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